Friday, 29 August 2014

August 28th Herbie Reloaded

Yay, look what I received as a present today. I have been wanting a Herbie for a long time, and now have one to add to the VW collection. Thanks to George and his eagle spotting eye - he only stopped at a Motorway Cafe for a wee stop.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

August 27th Road Dumps

Haven't had one of these for a while. To date on our walks we have encountered sofas and mattresses. We reached a new level today with a clothes dryer, complete with an empty meat tray next to it. And no, Hamilton does not have an inorganic rubbish collection! At least they had the decency to not dump it in the no parking area.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

August 26th Say Cheese

Back to the food focus and the challenge.  This week it is Cheese and/or Rhubarb. Well I detest Rhubarb, so can't see myself going there. I was going to stretch to muffins, but even the thought of Rhubarb muffins - ummm no thank you.  So I decided on Cheese - which is a real challenge, as how do you do something new with cheese?  I have made my own cheese, so can't go there. Well after many hours of searching (ie maybe one minute spent with Mr Google), I came upon this idea, which I have tasted similar before, but not attempted myself. A Baked Garlic and Thyme Brie.  Put this one into your finger foods repertoire people - it is a keeper. Well not really a keeper, because you eat it and it is gone. Rephrase that - the recipe is a keeper.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

August 25th Well Colour Me Pink (and Purple)

If you want to be pedantic colourwise, it was Magenta actually. Guess where I was today?

Monday, 25 August 2014

August 24th Family Day

What a day to get together with Family. We were all gobsmacked that the weather was that fine that we spent the entire afternoon outside, dining and basking in the warm sunshine. Hello! Is this Winter? The official start to Spring is still a week away and today felt like a lovely, mild summer's day.

My Three Precious

Nothing But Blue Skies - and Green Fields

An old cow wanted in. We told her to Moo-ve along

Sunday, 24 August 2014

August 23rd Me, Myself and Irene

I did take one photo today, but only a solitary one. I drove up to Auckland for a work get together, which entailed dropping Minnie off at her Doggy motel. George was away for work, and I had no idea what time I would be home. So no photos taken as I was the driver. However on a stop just after leaving Minnie, I did take this one photo - and the sign and angle of the photo appeared slightly ironic.

I am presuming the historic site is down the back, and hidden from street view

Saturday, 23 August 2014

August 22nd A Mid City Oasis

I ventured into the inner city today for a lunch date. Yes I do go out, and yes I do lunches - you just watch yourselves please!  In Hamilton there is a lovely lane called Casabella Lane. All Italian inspired with a fountain not quite on a Roman scale, but still impressive, eateries and gift shops galore. I have no idea of the name of the place we ate at - but I can certainly vouch for their seafood chowder.

Friday, 22 August 2014

August 21st Retro Rules

I am not really one for Garage sales. I have nothing against them, however it is more the time factor that stops me from traipsing around from home to home looking for a bargain.

However a few years ago I was staying in Auckland, and a friend insisted on doing the rounds. This wonderful find was the highlight of the day.  Wonderful Temuka pottery (circa 1970s was it?). This casserole is used more as a serving dish then a casserole dish, and tonight was used for a cottage pie.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

August 20th One Man's Graffiti

One man's graffiti is another man's art.  I wonder back in ancient times when people were rock drawing, if they were told off for defacing public property? You are hereby sentenced to six months cave detention and a bear will be stationed at the mouth of your cave to make sure you don't leave. Next...

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

August 19th Bleak, Bleak and More Bleak

There is nothing quite so bleak
than a grey sky, so to speak
and when the wind has a particular chill
I confess it does not give me a thrill

But we have a dog that requires a walk
Or she will snub us and at her evening meal balk
Who is the boss in your household? I hear you say
Believe me it is Minnie, with her doggy parlay!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

August 18th When The Timing Is Wrong - Or Was It?

Weather wise today appeared as if it was going to be a replica of yesterday. Beautiful sunshine and a day that resembled a Spring day.  So the major decision of my day was ''Should I walk Minnie while the sun is shining - but I look like shite" or ''Should I shower, do my hair, look respectable" and then take Minnie for her walk.

Option No. 2 won the day with no need for coin tossing. Go figure - it was a no brainer! I could be walking through the park and bump into George Clooney and imagine if I looked like I had two week old bed hair, whiskers where there shouldn't be whiskers (why oh why Mother Nature?), and a general air of I can't be bothered syndrome.  What would George (as in Clooney) and actually even my own darling George think?

So it was spruce up time:
Showered and smelling nice - ✔
Hair - ✔
Whisker Patrol Completed - ✔
Brush The Teeth - ✔
Clothed - ✔

Off for our walk we went. But by the time all of the above had been completed, instead of complete blue skies and warm sunshine, the weather resembled this

 But all of our efforts were worth it. A hello and where has the sunshine gone from a man on his front lawn, at a house where you can see yellowing newspapers reaching the top of a window. I have often wondered who did live there.  Then we reached the corner of our street and engaged in a lovely conversation with another gentleman, who gave me all the details of his wife's strokes (she is a year younger then I am, and has already had 5 - that is scary) and he is an ex smoker but only since May of this year (and smoked the same amount as I used to) and is now ill with Emphysema.

Note to self... .never, ever go back to the ciggies. Glad we managed to knock those on the head! These walks can be quite educational.

Monday, 18 August 2014

August 17th Cooking With Cardamom

The recent food challenge over at had one of the ingredients as Cardamom. My reaction was Carda ...MOM!!  Carda...MOM!!   I certainly had heard of Cardamom, but to use cardamom as an ingredient would definitely be a new experience for me. I nearly hyperventilated and thought up excuses why I couldn't cook this week.. I had just got my fingernails to a never before length? I needed to simultaneously watch the clock and outside as the days are getting longer, and out of interest, what time does it get dark now? No excuses seemed to cut the mustard, and the purpose of the food challenge, is to challenge yourself so I had to woman up, pull the granny undies up to my chin and go where I hadn't gone before.. and cook and/or bake with Cardamom.

There is powdered variety of Cardomom (not so good apparently as it can contain a lot of husks), or the pods. So my trepidation was not only finding a recipe, but also trying to find the pods. I was pleasantly surprised at the weekly shop at Rak n Rave (formally known as Pak n Save), to find the cardamom pods on sale - that was unexpected

Recipe wise.... I then stumbled upon a website when I went a-googling and around 3 years ago they had an actual competition with cardamom as a necessary ingredient. Trolling through, I came upon not one but two recipes I would like to try. On the savory side, a Chicken Curry which had cardomom, fresh ginger, cinnamon, coriander and turmeric amongst the ingredients. On the sweet side a Biscotti. I have been meaning to attempt to make my own Biscotti. The recipe I found was a Cardamom and Crystallised Ginger Biscotti.  Both recipes were sensational.

As for Cardamom... it is going to be a staple in my pantry from now on. The scent of the Cardamom is just beautiful. When baking the Biscotti, I wish I could have captured the smell that wafted through the house

When is technology going to allow us to share not only photos but smells?

Sunday, 17 August 2014

August 16th Sunshine and Gardens

A fairly unusual Saturday (when measured against Saturdays of late). George still had to work but was home for the afternoon, the sun was shining and all felt good with the world. We had unexpected guests for dinner, which rounded the day out perfectly for us and the BBQ even got an airing.  Yes it was one of those Saturdays where at the end you go ahhhh, now that was a good Saturday

Minnie sticking close to George while he gardens. This is her outside 'bed'

Neighbourhood all surveyed and now time for a rest

One of the Echeveria family is looking good

Saturday, 16 August 2014

August 15th Customers Bearing Gifts

I had customers here today, which is unusual as a lot of my workload is conducted electronically. They were an older couple and had been referred to me. Today was the culmination of quite a fair bit of work for them   Well I was blown away when they arrived, as they came bearing a gift for me. I am so lucky to have some absolutely wonderful customers! There is still good in the world (but how did they know I was partial to a drop?)

Friday, 15 August 2014

August 14th Samoan (Not Gangnam) Style

I attended a Samoan Tourism function, just to update myself with what is going on in Samoa.

 Yes it appears I am in the right place - although with the current Wintry blast, I think I would rather be there, as opposed to looking at photos of there

After an update, it was time for some Samoan entertainment - which included Gangnam Style, done Samoan Style

You mean we have to take our shirts off? But we're the drummer boys

Baby, you ain't seen no moves like my moves

So you really think Lynx is better than Rexona?

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

August 12th An Invite

Nice surprise in the mail box today. And all sparkly and hand made as well.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

August 11th What Do You Mean You Can See Me?

I am not ready to get up yet thank you and I thought this was a good hiding place. How did you find me so fast? No, I refuse to look at the camera - you have spoilt my day!

Monday, 11 August 2014

August 10th The Hongi

A hongi is a traditional Māori greeting in New Zealand. It is done by pressing one's nose and forehead (at the same time) to another person at an encounter.

In the hongi, the ha (or breath of life), is exchanged and intermingled. The breath of life can also be interpreted as the sharing of both party's souls.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

August 9th O M G !!

I received this text today. OMG I CAN RETIRE!!  I have won $2.5 million dollars - and from a complete stranger and from something I have never entered. This is just so unbelievable.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

August 8th Where's The Stools?

If there were some stools here, can we assume we have a group of stool pigeons?

Friday, 8 August 2014

August 7th Allie-Phant-A-Loom

This photo doesn't do Allie any justice, but she is a Loom Elephant.  Thanks Nancy - she is wonderful :)

Thursday, 7 August 2014

August 6th All The Way From Poland

Originated in Poland, exported to Australia and sent on to New Zealand. Sounds a bit like our family history  - parents were from Poland, immigrated to Australia and then came to NZ. My family life is mirrored by Dishwasher Tablets!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

August 5th Who Got The Weeds Out?

I noticed a section of weeds had gone in our driveway. Which is a good thing, but George has been working 7 day weeks, I have been housebound with the 'Billion Times Worse Than The Man Flu' Flu - so the question begged ''Who Got The Weeds Out?"

All was answered that evening - when I got a shocked look and been told it had been done for a least a week, and hadn't I noticed earlier! My only defence was that I have been fairly housebound for a while - yikes!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

August 4th The Mental Lentil

Well the Lentils weren't mental and were actually very nice. Time to step out of my comfort zone and give Lentils a go in the kitchen. This Chorizo and Lentil Soup - that wasn't a soup but a stew  - went down a treat. Lentils will make a return to this kitchen.

Monday, 4 August 2014

August 3rd Confession Time

Forgive me Father for today I did sin
I spotted Jet Plane lollies in the bulk bin
I could not walk by and pretend not to see
and act like some blind Pharisee

So I gave in to temptation on this day
but I promise for my selection I did pay
Not only did my grocery bill reflect this
but my Dentist will be in a rapturous bliss!

ps before the naysayers nod their heads and roll their eyes - this wasn't my actual purchase but a photo taken in the bulk bin

Sunday, 3 August 2014

August 2nd The Jaffle Maker

Who remembers these? We called them the Toasted Sandwich maker -  but mine has imprinted on it 'The Jaffle Maker'   Mine is brown plastic and circa late 1970's and belonged to Jean, my mother in law.. When she passed away, it is one of the things I was given. It is still going strong now and still  makes the best toasted sandwiches in my mind

Saturday, 2 August 2014

August 1st Spring Is Around The Corner

One month until Spring is supposedly on our doorstep. Autumn for you Northern Hemispherites. But we have definite early displays of Spring starting to appear here in the garden

Friday, 1 August 2014

July 31st Fishy Going Ons

Over at  a food challenge has been started, where once a week you are given one or two ingredients and it is up to you to make a new recipe using those ingredients. Feel free to join if you want to by the way.  The idea isn't to put you into a combat situation against other contestants (knives drawn at six o'clock) but just to extend your own cooking repertoire with an untried recipe. This week the ingredients given were Yeast and/or Lime.

My beady eyes pounced on the word Lime. Because lurking in my freezer, I have a container full of Kaffir Lime Leaves and Limes from our tree.  At the end of summer, before wrapping the tree up against the winter frost, George gave it a prune and picked all the limes. It was an experiment as to how well they would freeze for use over the winter months, and they have done well

The recipe I found was for Fish Cakes using Kaffir Leaves. The Kaffir wasn't an adornment, but finely chopped into the cake. That was accompanied by finely chopped spring onion, parsley and grated ginger And included Wasabi Paste

And here is the finished product. This recipe is going to be a keeper!